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Its all on the South Coast line for Jensen

21 August 2019

Outstanding young talent Jensen Plowright will be riding for his immediate future when he tackles the Visit Victoria-Campolina Tour of the Great South Coast, starting Tuesday, August 27.

Outstanding young talent Jensen Plowright will be riding for his immediate future when he tackles the Visit Victoria-Campolina Tour of the Great South Coast, starting Tuesday, August 27.

 Although the 19-year-old is regarded as one of the rising stars on the Australian cycling scene, highlighted by a super year so far, he needs to continue to perform with distinction to attract a new trade team from next year.

 Plowright has been a member of the much-heralded Drapac-Cannondale Holistic Development Team, but the squad’s backers have decided to call it quits at the end of this year, leaving Plowright and other emerging young riders with the task of finding a new pathway.

 “I’m in pretty good nick and hopefully that form will continue at this tour,” he said.  “I need to keep impressing other team officials so that I have a home after this year.”

 “That is the big issue now. It is tricky because this is my first proper road season and I don’t have a lot of credits on the board. I have been in contact with several teams to see if I can get a look-in, but it is not easy. A win or two on the Tour of the Great South Coast would go a long way to helping me ensure my future.”

 One man who has no doubt that Plowright has the potential to reach the top is Drapac sports director Agostino Giramondo.

 “Jensen is pretty special,” Giramondo said. “He was fourth twice in two Grand Prix races in Belgium in June. Going back years, the legendary Peter Besanko was riding in the top 30 and we would say that was great. Jensen was right up there in these quality events, so it is even more impressive, particularly for a 19-year-old.

 “This is his first road season as a senior and he is making a mark,” he said, adding that fans would see a “more mature, stronger and more confident rider” than when he finished a creditable fifth in the Cape Bridgewater section of the Tour of the Great South Coast last year.

 “I think he will in the thick of the action in the criteriums, but equally he is capable of winning a stage.”

 Plowright won the 2000m handicap and the 3000m Burnie Wheelrace at the Tasmanian Christmas Sports Carnivals over the Christmas-New Year period. Then he finished second in the Elite Individual Pursuit at the Victorian track championships in February.

 He then won Stage 3 of the New Zealand Cycle Classic (152km) on the Te Awamutu circuit, before finishing second on the Cambridge circuit (136km) two days’ later.

 In April, he finished third on the opening stage of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup (166.8km) from Phitsanuloke to Uttaradit in Thailand. The following day he finished sixth over the 182.5km trip from Uttaradit to Nan.

 All was going great until Plowright broke his wrist: “I was coming home from a local meet and about 250m from my front gate I rolled a tyre,” he said. “It was five weeks before we headed to Belgium and I was pretty much out of action for a month with the pin in the wrist. So, to get two fourth places on the Grand Prix circuit was really pleasing, especially because of the wrist problems.

 “Now I must put everything into showing up at the pointy end of events. The Tour of the Great South Coast was hard last year. It was my first National Road Series race. I think I am in good enough form, and in good condition, to give it a red-hot go. There is a lot hanging on it.”

 Giramondo described Plowright as a “happy-go-lucky” young man who doesn’t take anything to heart: “He is resilient whether he wins or loses. He won at the Tour of New Zealand just five weeks after he broke his wrist, in his usual no-nonsense way.”

 Plowright is raring to go on the 541-kilometre, six-day tour, which starts with a traditional criterium at Mount Gambier’s Vansittart Park on Tuesday week.

 Founded in 2012, the eighth Tour of the Great South Coast is backed by the Victorian State Government and four municipalities – the City of Mount Gambier, District Council of Grant and Naracoorte Lucindale Council in South Australia, and Victoria’s Glenelg Shire Council.

 The tour finishes with criterium racing on Portland’s waterfront on Sunday, September 1.

 

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